A numbers of petrol pumps are running dry in Gujarat, some are short on supply. People have to drive from one petrol pump to another to get their tanks filled. The state government, however, is confident that it will resolve the crisis in a day or two.
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The shortage has been reported from across the state — Aravalli, Gir Somnath, Valsad, or even major cities like Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Some petrol pumps are not getting regular supply.
A petrol pump owner from Gir Somnath said that seven to eight days ago he had placed an order, but got supply after five days, and now his petrol pump is running dry. He does not know when the fresh supply will arrive.
Civil Supplies Minister Naresh Patel said that there is some issue at refineries like Nyara and Reliance. That is why there is shortage at some pumps. He added that IOC petrol pumps are not facing any problems, because they are getting regular supplies.
Petrol pumps that are running dry are of HPCL, BPL and even of Nyara, because these petrol pumps in Gujarat are dependent on Nyara and Reliance refineries in Jamnagar. The other reason could be that people do not prefer to buy petrol or diesel from Nyara petrol pumps because they are costlier than public sector pumps.
The shortage is more of diesel than petrol, said Arvind Thakkar, president of the Federation of Gujarat Petroleum Dealers Association (FGPDA). He said, state`s monthly diesel requirement is 55 crore liters, the short supply is from Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum.
He said, companies are not sharing reasons for short supply, but a report says that in the international market petroleum products are selling high and domestic rates are low, so to control the loss, refineries are lifting less stock from the international market. That is creating a shortage in the market.
But, the supply gap is being filled by IOC, which is a big company. It is in a position to meet the demand of not only its own petrol pumps but also of other companies, said Thakkar.
The Minister said, on one hand there is short supply and on the other hand, consumers are coming to Gujarat from neighbouring states to get their tanks refilled, because rates in Gujarat are lower. Citing example of a south Gujarat petrol pump, he said the petrol pump`s normal day`s sale is 40,000 liters, now it is daily selling 60,000 liters. This is adding fuel to the short supply fire.